The coxswain is the (generally) little guy in the boat who steers and plans the strategy of a rowing race. A good coxswain should be able to hang on the edge between complete control of up to eight people twice their size while steering a boat as long as 3 large cars with a rudder the size of a postcard. It's fun.

COXSWAIN: Member of crew who sits on stationary seat at stern, facing forward or lies in the bow. He/she is primarily charge with steering, often calls beat and aids in carrying out strategy of race by gauging positions of competing crews.

(see stroke rate, stroke watch)

-- Glossary of Rowing Terms (

A coxswain is combination quarterback, cheerleader, and coach, all rolled into a small package hopefully not weighing more than 55 kilograms.

A coxswain's responsibilities are to steer a straight course over a windy 2000 meter stretch, to execute the race strategy, and to inspire his rowers to greater feats of endurance than they dreamed possible.

His reward for doing a good job is to be hurled into the water by his rowers, partly in tribute and gratitude, and partly in a tit-for-tat revenge on the person who exhorted and cajoled them.

Cox"swain` (k?k"sw?n, Colloq. k?k"s'n), n.

See Cockswain.


© Webster 1913.

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